The Keesler Hospital’s operating room is once again “going green” on Keesler Air Force Base, Miss.
In 2004, Capt. Wendy Wilkins, an 81st Surgical Operations Squadron operating room nurse, began reprocessing the Flowtron compression hoses used in the operating rooms. Unfortunately, the reprocessing program wasn’t reestablished during the hospital’s rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina.
When Captain Wilkins returned to Keesler last November, she revitalized the program.
In May, the captain met with a representative of Stryker/Ascent Sustainability, the hose reprocessor, to research other supply recycling options and then presented the information to 81st Medical Group surgeons.
“We had to get their buy-in since they would be the product users — otherwise all our efforts would be a waste of time,” she explained. “They agreed to use the refurbished items but made it clear that if they had any problems, we would go back to purchasing new supplies.
“Terms such as ‘single-use items’ and ‘expired/unopened supplies’ seem to make reprocessing difficult to understand,” the captain continued.
“People think, ‘I don’t want something dirty used on me.’” Wilkins pointed out that “single-use” is a manufacturer’s term, not one used by the Food and Drug Administration.
Once the FDA grants the ability to reprocess an item, that product can be stripped down, reassembled, cleaned and functionally checked for repackaging, sterilization and redistribution. (more…)